Most humans today aren’t getting the nutrients that they need. Sure, we are getting enough calories to sustain life, but we aren’t getting them in ways to optimize our hormonal balance and energy levels. In fact, this is such a huge problem that the majority of humans who have access to the right foods don’t get enough nutrients. The nutrient deficiency of almost all the vitamins and minerals, even water has led to today’s humans being lethargic, depressed, and tired compared to our ancestors.
Even if you think you eat right and get all the right nutrients, chances are that you’re not. The amount of micronutrients you receive in your food can be altered by season, where it was grown, and storage time. The problem is that with how complex our bodies are, trying to assess exactly why you’re lethargic or depressed can be difficult. This is why sorting out your nutrient deficiencies are important, so doctors have an easier time giving you better treatment.
Americans and other 1st world people believe that they don’t have nutrient deficiencies. In fact, when they hear the word deficiency they automatically assume that the conversation is about 3rd world countries. Although 3rd world countries have serious nutrient deficiencies, those of us in 1st world countries must watch out for these problems as well. It’s a global pandemic and we must really eat healthy whole food diets if we want to be well nourished with all the micronutrients.
With Deficiencies being such a big problem in the United States, our government has done several things to make sure that our nutrient deficiencies stay in check.
Examples of fortified foods:
- Salt: Our government adds iodine to salt where it doesn’t occur naturally as a way to combat goiter.
- Milk: Our milk products are fortified with Vitamin D in order to benefit our bone health.
- Grains: Folate is added to help stop our neural tubes from forming defects
Even with supplemental help that our government mandates. We still do have some problems with other micronutrients. For instance, we lack Fiber, calcium, Iron, and Vitamin C. Most experts agree that the problem isn’t a lack of food, but a lack of nutritious foods that we eat. The Journal of Food Composition and Analysis found that more than 30% of our foods come from sugary foods, soft drinks*, and alcoholic beverages and salty snacks.
*Soft drinks are all carbonated beverages that don’t contain alcohol. It was actually an advertising term that was made after advertisers needed a global term to reference their drink. All soft drink technically contain trace amounts of alcohol.
Most Common Nutrient Deficiencies
This is a dangerous deficiency to have, and its estimated that nearly 25% of the global populations had a deficiency in iron. It also estimated that nearly 25% or more people have TOO much iron. Both of these can be serious, and the best way to keep up with this is getting yourself screened. Dealing with either of these conditions can be serious and getting enough iron is crucial.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Mercola states that about ¼ of Americans are deficient in Vitamin B12. The CDC says that around 2% are deficient. Either way, getting enough Vitamins is crucial to our health. It helps with the production of energy, so not getting enough can lead to depression and lethargy. Mercola suggest that most people who don’t have an animal rich diet will tend to be deficient in Vitamin B12. They recommend that a sublingual (under tongue) spray or injectable works best for absorption.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Americans had an 8.1% deficiency rate. On top of that, over 50% were near a deficiency point. Exposing your skin to the sun for the shortest amount of time it takes to turn your skin just one shade darker is enough to get your Vitamin D levels for the day. In fact, taking more than this will just lead to harmful U.V. radiation problems. If this just isn’t possible for you, supplementing with a Vitamin D product is next best thing.
Vitamin A Deficiency
This is a common deficiency that is attributed to eye, skin, teeth, and bone health. There are two sources of Vitamin A that we can get. The first is beta carotene, and the second is Retinol. Our body can’t use Beta carotene until we convert it into retinol. Since most of us have poor gut health, it’s best to use Retinol, which is often found in animal products like poultry, liver, and fish.
Vitamin E Deficiency
This is a fat soluble vitamin that is found in avocados, nuts, and fish. It’s been estimated that 75% of Americans aren’t getting the daily recommend amount. To reach this, you need to get 50 IU’s a day. Eating a higher fat diet with health whole foods can help you reach protective levels. This is important because Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant against free radicals and helps with the production of Vitamin K, a heart health necessity.
This is EXTREMELY important for those who are pregnant. It will help keep your newborn safe with no neural tube defects. Although is used to be a serious problem, in 1998 it was mandated that it be added to all enriched cereal grains. This led a large decrease in deficiencies, but its still important to eat foods rich in Folate.
Including a couple of supplements and eating a whole food diets can be an easy solution to prevent these types of deficiencies from occurring. It’s best if you can fix it now, so that you have less complications happen as you get older. Increasing your life span and living a higher quality of life can occur just by treating your body right and eating the right foods. Make sure to go out in the sun every day and eat foods like fish, avocados, and nuts!